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Stillman’s Slab #41: Blizzard’s Stance on the Environment

Posted 27 May 2010 by

The environment must diiiiiiiieeee! Basically, you should turn the environment into the Gulf of Mexico. But this weeks discussion is really about the added variety of monsters from the environment who want you and your little sister dead. You better destroy everything in sight just to be safe. Click through below to learn what what Acid Cloud could mean for Diablo 3.

Blizzard’s Stance on the Environment

I don’t know about you, but I am relieved. Instead of the heroes’ culture being all about worshiping a giant, cheesy mecca tree, their job is to destroy the giant mecca trees. For once, the environment is evil and must be put in its rightful lowly place in the ground…which I guess helps the soil anyway? But the soil is probably evil too, so use your ground thumping skills after you kill all the trees. Yes, everything is out to kill you. The Gnarled Walkers look like something from Teddy Ruxpin’s nightmares and are listed in the wiki as animal type of monsters. Diablo 2 had the somewhat similar Acid Cloud which were also categorized as animals. They look like plants to me…

 

I demand my right to beat up plants like everyone else, but it needs to be official! They ought to be called plants (not animals) because…they are plants, obviously. So why does everything have to be categorized into Acid Cloud types? Why not add a plant type of monster?

There is great potential for other plant monsters such as vines, giant Venus fly traps, cacti of genital molestation, and poisonous shrooms that make your character way too high to function properly. While they are at it, there could be a golem type, spectral type and other monster categories added. Diablo 2 also had structural objects that attacked you. That sounds like another potentially good monster type, especially in a game where the environment itself is destructible. The main point is that demon, animal, and undead are way too few monster types, especially for Diablo 3 which is going out of its way to include far more monsters than Diablo 2 had. Adding more monster types would only affect the % damage and attack rating modifiers to demons and undead (which might not even be in Diablo 3) by adding more fun affixes. And more of everything is a good thing. 

Variety is the key to entertainment, as the famous and true quote goes. Diablo 3 is striving for far more item modifiers anyway, along with more monsters, and probably item types. Anyone ever hear of a gaff, that axe thingy used in the Gameplay Video? Didn’t think so. So why stop there? The Diablo world is big enough now to have many more damage types, monster types, trap effects, gear slots, and so on. Although there are two new gear slots (pants and shoulder armor), there could be more because…more is better. Always.

Having the same four elements (fire, cold, lightning, and poison) chucked at you in Diablo 2 got a little boring. So why not add more of those too? How about acid damage, holy/unholy damage, and pest damage? Acid Cloud is very wrongly counted as poison damage, which is silly. Acids are not poisons or your own saliva would kill you, as would vinegar and gastric juices, all of which work identically to the acid in any Acid Cloud. Apart from making more sense, including more damage types would add more challenge, more time to fully understand and master the game and its monsters, and more resistances which means more diverse loot would be needed. Diablo 3 should strive to outdo past Diablo games in every way rather than just meeting the old standard. 

Why? Well, because there are unforeseen item types, modifiers and possibly even damage types that may become all but ignored in Diablo 3. Look at what happened with Diablo 2: many, many skills are not even looked at by most players anymore. Monster poison damage is useless. There are scores of item modifiers in Diablo 2 that are completely useless and ignored. Traps and their effects are repetitious and pointless. It is best to simply add more of everything to Diablo 3 in anticipation of these problems so the game does not become a contest to see who is best at ignoring things. No one can fully predict the future, but they can add more layers of bricks to their bomb shelter.

It is also just too easy and convenient to toss everything into demon, animal, and undead types for whatever strange reasoning. They could argue that the angry trees out to kill you are ?animalistic? in their actions, or they are not demons nor undead, so therefore, that leaves animal type. But that is just being lazy. The days of laziness should end. Everything in Diablo 3 should strive to make a little more sense. Come on, we deserve at least a plant type after going around slicing swarms of insects to death with a scimitar in Diablo 2, and kicking tiny clay pots open to free pole arms that were folded up in there.

In conclusion, more variety can only be a good thing. It was a little too easy and boring in Diablo 2 to raise all your resistances up (hell, there were only four of them, and poison could be ignored). What if there were more resistances? This would add some serious challenge. It was also too easy to slap on Laying of Hands and do a ridiculous 350% enhanced damage to demons…which were about a third of the monsters in the game! Well, what if there were plant, golem, structural, and spectral types to dilute that power? That would be challenging. What if there was more to traps than, ?This is going to zap me with one of the four elements of which I am 75% immune? and you had to be a bit more careful? Although the traps look much more advanced in Diablo 3, let us hope other aspects follow that example rather than relying on the same minimalist set of rules from Diablo 2. They should just add a ton more of everything. Who knows, maybe they will.

You know, the Gnarled Walker picture kind of looks like my tipsy father. You can see him waving to a crowd of other useless drunks who ought to be put down, and you can almost make out an armful of beverages as he approaches their table. Too bad you can’t make paper out of people instead of just trees…or can you? 

Join me next week as I discuss how my father spent my college fund buying rounds for his drinking buddies, and now I am all grown up and ready to brutally murder all those drinking buddies with power tools plus anyone who I suspect is a bad provider based on simple observation. Oh wait. That’s the next Halloween special. Next week, we will be talking about other artsy stuff in Diablo 3 like what I did last week. That’s what I meant to say.


Opinions expressed in columns and guest articles are those of their authors, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

Stillman’s Slab is where all Diablo characters are dissected and examined piece by piece. It is written by Nicholas Stillman to reintroduce Diablo series topics in a new light or put forth novel themes that have not been fully explored in the forums. Slurry collected from the centrifuge will always contain something new and unheard of at the time of publication. Post your comments below or directly.

 

 


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